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Old 30-07-2013, 20:52   #16
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Re: Boat Buying Questions?

GG... I was referring to the engine manufacturer to do the engine analysis. For example, if you replace your power plant with CAT engines, Caterpillar will require you to do an annual oil analysis to maintain the warranty on the replacement engines so CAT wants to do the analysis themselves in their own lab. They also have qualified CAT mechanics to do warranty work and inspections on their engines. Other major US manufacturers work the same way. Expensive but reliable.
As far as brokers go, pick reputable ones in the area in which your prospective boat is lying... not the broker who is selling the boat, but others. Ask them for their top 3 surveyors. You should get the pick of the litter that way because none of them have an axe to grind in making the sale. Unless you have someone local who can make unbiased recommendations, I know of no other way to cut down the odds of you getting a bad one. They should all be members of one of the two nationally recognized surveyor organizations and be licensed and experienced in surveying the type of vessel you are looking at purchasing. Ask for references of owners who have used them. Another source is to check with insurance companies writing marine insurance in the area where you are buying and plan on berthing the vessel.
Good luck.. Phil
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Old 30-07-2013, 22:32   #17
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Re: Boat Buying Questions?

Ive found oil surveys to be a real help when buying a boat! Also you can get test done at most any Cat dealer that has a shop! Ive had oil surveys done at Cat for a lot of different engines from Detroit to perkins, so these tests re easy to get done ! I know of good surveyers in Texas, and Louisiana, and some in Washinton State That might still be in the Bizz. I would do as said above ! ask other brokers that are not selling you a boat for the best they know of, one who finds things !! They are out there but ya have to do your home work ! You can do that I have faith inya ! anyone who would put up with the stuff you have on this site , can do most anything ! Hope ya find a good boat for ya ! Let us know if we can help ya in most anyway !
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Old 31-07-2013, 05:43   #18
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Re: Boat Buying Questions?

Once you get a couple of recs, ask for copies of the last 2-3 surveys the surveyor has done. This will give you an idea of how thoroughly they go through the systems and how well they explain any problems. You do not want to hire a surveyor who just ticks boxes, you want the guy who writes a very descriptive paragraph or two about any problems they find.

After you get your boat and begin working on her, remember no surveyor anywhere in the world is going to find every problem on a boat. There will always be one or two surprises. Once you find them, try not to curse your surveyor. A good one is going to try to do the best job they can for you but no one is perfect.

GOOD LUCK!!
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Old 31-07-2013, 06:01   #19
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Re: Boat Buying Questions?

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Originally Posted by Mimsy View Post
Once you get a couple of recs, ask for copies of the last 2-3 surveys the surveyor has done. This will give you an idea of how thoroughly they go through the systems and how well they explain any problems. You do not want to hire a surveyor who just ticks boxes, you want the guy who writes a very descriptive paragraph or two about any problems they find.

After you get your boat and begin working on her, remember no surveyor anywhere in the world is going to find every problem on a boat. There will always be one or two surprises. Once you find them, try not to curse your surveyor. A good one is going to try to do the best job they can for you but no one is perfect.

GOOD LUCK!!

You can ask for copies of surveys, but surveyors don't have to give the survey to anyone except the potential buyer, and very often they will not give it ot anyone except the potential buyer.
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Old 31-07-2013, 06:02   #20
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Re: Boat Buying Questions?

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Originally Posted by Mimsy View Post
Once you get a couple of recs, ask for copies of the last 2-3 surveys the surveyor has done. This will give you an idea of how thoroughly they go through the systems and how well they explain any problems. You do not want to hire a surveyor who just ticks boxes, you want the guy who writes a very descriptive paragraph or two about any problems they find.

After you get your boat and begin working on her, remember no surveyor anywhere in the world is going to find every problem on a boat. There will always be one or two surprises. Once you find them, try not to curse your surveyor. A good one is going to try to do the best job they can for you but no one is perfect.

GOOD LUCK!!

PS ... to look at my boat's survey you would see nothing amiss because it would not be evident the MANY obvious things he missed.
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Old 31-07-2013, 06:05   #21
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Re: Boat Buying Questions?

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
You can ask for copies of surveys, but surveyors don't have to give the survey to anyone except the potential buyer, and very often they will not give it ot anyone except the potential buyer.
True, but you do not have to hire them either! We had no issues getting copies of surveys from the ones we were interviewing. Has a couple that did not want to give samples, did not hire them.

The surveyor we ended up hiring ended up surveying 3 boats for us before we purchased so it all worked out
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Old 31-07-2013, 06:12   #22
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Re: Boat Buying Questions?

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
PS ... to look at my boat's survey you would see nothing amiss because it would not be evident the MANY obvious things he missed.
Never said you would be able to see the things that they missed, just that it would give you and idea of how thorough they were. The level of detail of description of each issue found on the survey told us volumes about the level of inquiry each surveyor brought to the table.

Sorry your guy missed so many things, maybe getting a sample before would have helped you chose a better one!
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Old 31-07-2013, 06:56   #23
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Re: Boat Buying Questions?

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Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
GG... I was referring to the engine manufacturer to do the engine analysis. For example, if you replace your power plant with CAT engines, Caterpillar will require you to do an annual oil analysis to maintain the warranty on the replacement engines so CAT wants to do the analysis themselves in their own lab. They also have qualified CAT mechanics to do warranty work and inspections on their engines. Other major US manufacturers work the same way. Expensive but reliable.
As far as brokers go, pick reputable ones in the area in which your prospective boat is lying... not the broker who is selling the boat, but others. Ask them for their top 3 surveyors. You should get the pick of the litter that way because none of them have an axe to grind in making the sale. Unless you have someone local who can make unbiased recommendations, I know of no other way to cut down the odds of you getting a bad one. They should all be members of one of the two nationally recognized surveyor organizations and be licensed and experienced in surveying the type of vessel you are looking at purchasing. Ask for references of owners who have used them. Another source is to check with insurance companies writing marine insurance in the area where you are buying and plan on berthing the vessel.
Good luck.. Phil
Oh, I see. The boat has a Cat engine. So I should call Cat to do the analysis. Will they come to the boat or do I send the oil to them? Sorry, these questions probably sound silly, but I have never done this before.

Are there mechanics that only work on Cat engines? I should I call one of them. Were would I find them? Should I call Cat for a recommendation?
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Old 31-07-2013, 07:03   #24
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Re: Boat Buying Questions?

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Oh, I see. The boat has a Cat engine. So I should call Cat to do the analysis. Will they come to the boat or do I send the oil to them? Sorry, these questions probably sound silly, but I have never done this before.

Are there mechanics that only work on Cat engines? I should I call one of them. Were would I find them? Should I call Cat for a recommendation?
Sorry again. so excited I didn't read all the responses before posting (I usually do).

Bob answered the question. I should find a Cat dealer or shop in the area.

Can I assume that they will come to the boat?

How long does it typically take to get the results of the analysis back?
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Old 31-07-2013, 12:02   #25
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Re: Boat Buying Questions?

GG, in one post above you speculated about having two surveys done. You would in fact want to do that anyway (sorta): a marine survey, which is all about the boat as a system of system; a mechanical survey which is all about the engines (including genset).

Since you've said the engine (singular?) is CAT, you could consider the local CAT distributor and dealers for the latter. They may not be gurus on the genset motor brand, but would likely be able to assess it fairly well, anyway. Also, the mechanical survey is not just oil analysis; it can also include compression and valve checks and so forth, so yes, the bubba comes to the boat.

For marine surveys... synthesis of all the various recommendations you can get here and on other sites can help a little. As you home in on candidates, you can ask for references, and you can actually check with those references to be learn whether somebody's blowing smoke.

Finally, the September time frame is a great time to make the trip north, of course assuming no pesky hurricane. The hot weather has usually broken, most of the traffic is preparing for southbound, etc. For comparison, we made out trip north from Lauderdale to Annapolis over 17 days in mid-September, including a 3-day layover for sightseeing near Savannah. Could have probably done it in 5-6 days in a hurry, but we were traveling at hull speed much of the time (sightseeing and conserving fuel). And my crew was learning the boat, so I didn't want to travel continuously with newbies on some of the watches.

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Old 01-08-2013, 08:07   #26
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Re: Boat Buying Questions?

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If you're in the Tampa Bay area I can recommend someone for an excellent engine survey, however.
So, don't keep secrets. The whole idea of a forum like this is to share information.

Names! We need names!
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:28   #27
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Re: Boat Buying Questions?

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So, don't keep secrets. The whole idea of a forum like this is to share information.

Names! We need names!
Yes please, do share!
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:56   #28
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Re: Boat Buying Questions?

Didn't know that you had a CAT engine... was using that as an example, GG. But if you do, call Caterpillar and arrange for one of their service techs (mechanics) to come down for an engine check out. Tell them that you will want a thorough inspection prior to buying and also want an oil analysis. Inspection should take about a day per engine and oil analysis about a week. To work on CAT engines require a mechanic to go through a fairly involved certification process, apprenticiship and regular updates on Improvements CAT makes to their engines. Because many of their power plants are in commercial/industrial applications, these guys are very knowlegeable and versatile having experience in many different types of installations. Some specialize in marine which is what they will send you because marine applications differ somewhat from other land side installations. You may require a different mechanic to inspect your gen set, depending on make and model as generators are a particular type of power generation unit. There are some additional inspection issues with gen sets that are unique to them other than just the power plant. Hope this helps... Phil
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:30   #29
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Re: Boat Buying Questions?

Be there for the survey, prep yourself ahead of time, ask probing questions, until you are satisfied. I consider myself about as close to a surveyor as you can get, without the credentials, yet every time I use one I find: I lead him down a path he may have missed AND he finds something I didnt think of.

It's not possible to completely assess everything in a boat in 3-4 hours. Dont expect too much.
For instance: if the fuel tanks are buried in the bilge, he has no magic wand to tell you if they are about to fail. If they are 20 years old , just assume that they are!
Ditto for keel bolts, chain plates etc... Surveyors dont have Xray eyes... they can only chec what they can see. Often the biggest issues are the things you cant see.
September is the peak of hurricane season, I imagine someone can scurry up the ICW and out of harms way though.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:43   #30
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Re: Boat Buying Questions?

I obviously have slight bias but you may find some useful tips here ......
Choosing A Marine Surveyor
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